Roman Polanski, the Austrian-Polish director who fled to France in 1978 on the eve of being sentenced to jail for sexual assault of a minor, won the best director award at the Cesar awards, France’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Chants of “Long live Poland!” were heard during the award presentation as Polanski, also known as RA Polanski, appeared onstage in black with his wife, French actress Emmanuelle Seigner. But it was the actors’ reaction that was perhaps most noteworthy.

When Polanski appeared onstage, they watched to his side in silence, including Mira Sorvino, who starred in his 2009 film The Ghost Writer. Acknowledging the assembly of actors, Sorvino said: “We’re standing at the foot of the genius [Polanski].” But after he was seated, Sorvino walked off stage without comment.

Serge Toubiana, who starred in his films including Death and the Maiden, and delivered a commendation to Polanski at the ceremony, also walked out — along with Etienne Comar, who plays Polanski’s teenage victim in The Ghost Writer.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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